Lately it seems I am reminded that I am living in Holland, and though there are many wonderful things about Holland, it's been a struggle lately. Of course I don't live in Holland, but when you read this poem by Emily Perl Kingsley titled "Welcome to Holland" you'll understand.
I am often asked to describe the experience of a raising a child with a disability to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it feels. It's like this, when you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michael Angelo David. The Gondolas in Venice. You many learn some handy phrases in Italian. it's all very exciting. After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. you pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. the stewardess comes in and says "Welcome to Holland" you say "what do you mean Holland?" I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All of my life I've dreamed of Italy" But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay. The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine, and disease. It's just a different place. It's slower paced than Italy, but after you've been there for awhile and you catch your breath, you look around and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills.. Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandt's. But everyone you know is busy coming and going from they're bragging about Italy... and what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you say "Yes that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I planned" and the pain of that will never, ever, ever go away because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss. But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you many never be free to enjoy the very Special the very lovely things about Holland.
Well lately Chris has been going through a few temperamental issues. I remember when I thought the terrible 2's was going to last forever and in my case it was about 5 yrs before he got over that stage. I'm at wits end right now, Stressed to say the least. How do I continue seeing the beautiful, wonderful things about Holland? I don't know, I do know that I have very difficult decisions to make. Probably for me the most difficult ones, it's not easy it never has been but I have always seen the beauty in Holland and now I feel as though I am wearing horse blinders and can only see straight ahead and nothing else. I do know that right now I have to rely on God, to help me see Holland once again in all it's glory!
Here is a layout I created inspired by the poem: